Pop-up Hotel (Arthur’s Cave)

For Epic Retreats, Wales / Due for construction early 2017

The proposal is a competition winning entry for for a ‘pop-up hotel’ that celebrates the Welsh landscape as part of Visit Wales’s ‘Year of Legends 2017’. The proposal describes an ambiguous structure intended to stimulate imagination, but one that sits comfortably within the Welsh landscape. The form suggests something universal and familiar; it is constructed using modern building materials and techniques, but at the same time it speaks of something ancient: symbolic of ancient monoliths, cromlechs or caves.

The envelope and structure is a hybrid solution of CNC-cut plywood sandwich panels, glued together to form a precise structural skin, supported and braced internally by a series of birch-faced ply portal ribs at close centres. The use of CNC-cut ply enables a high degree of pre-fabrication whilst reducing material wastage, using locally sourced timber. The timber panels will be clad externally in locally-sourced slate off-cuts, whilst locally sourced sheep’s wool insulation will be used to provide a high level of thermal insulation.

Internally, the profile of the plywood ribs expands and contracts to form an undulating and sinuous interior, which is juxtaposed against the faceted form of the exterior to give a softer and more comfortable feel. Access into the unit is via a stepped approach to the front through a full-width sliding glazed door, which also affords panoramic views over the landscape and maximises natural light.